Keep Calm! Facebook says it isn’t collecting your Aadhaar data | Hindustan Times
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Keep Calm! Facebook says it isn’t collecting your Aadhaar data

Facebook says it has no plans to roll this test out further.

tech Updated: Dec 28, 2017 14:56 IST
Kul Bhushan
Facebook isn’t gathering your Aadhaar data and has no plans to do so either.
Facebook isn’t gathering your Aadhaar data and has no plans to do so either.(AP)

Facebook has ended its test feature which asked new users in India to enter their names as per Aadhaar, and clarified on Thursday that the feature was not mandatory.

The social media giant made it clear that the feature was part of a test which has now ended and users were not required to provide enter the name on their Aadhaar card and there’s no integration or authentication with Aadhaar, the company said.

“There have been a number of reports about a small test we ran in India to help new users sign up to Facebook. Some have interpreted this test as a request for people’s Aadhaar information when you sign up for a Facebook account. This is not correct,” Taichi Hoshino, product manager said in a blog post.

“The test, which has now finished, merely includes additional language on the account sign-up page to explain that using their Aadhaar name will help family and friends recognise them. We are not collecting Aadhaar data and do not require people to enter their Aadhaar name when they sign up to Facebook.”

Facebook also said that it has currently no plans to officially roll out this feature in future.

This is what Facebook’s test looked like, compared to its usual sign up page. (Facebook)

Earlier, Facebook triggered a new controversy after it confirmed that it was prompting new users to sign up with names as per Aadhaar in order to curb fake profiles.

“We want to make sure people can use the names they’re known by on Facebook, and can easily connect with friends and family. This is a small test where we provide additional language when people sign up for an account to say that using the name on their Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognise them. This is an optional prompt which we are testing. People are not required to enter the name on their Aadhaar card,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

The association with Aadhaar, however, raised eyebrows. There have been concerns about the safety of Aadhaar data after private details of users were leaked from government websites and even from private organisations including banks, telecom operators and financial institutions.

According to a government reply in Parliament earlier this year, over 200 government websites published names of beneficiaries of welfare schemes with their addresses and Aadhaar numbers.

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